Divinity: Original Sin 2 is in full swing, and one of the major issues players are having with the game is Builds. What Build do I use? What’s a good Build for a Warrior? Ranger? Mage? etc. Since the game is rather difficult this has come much more into focus than one would expect. In this Build Guide were going to cover the: Frost Paladin. Let’s jump into this Build and see just how it works.
Frost Paladin – Warrior Build
The Frost Paladin is a durable Warrior that buffs himself to unimaginable heights and then decimates his enemies with powerful physical attacks. Frost Paladins will utilize healing Hydrosophist Skills as well as a few other Frost spells to trap their enemies from moving before punishing them with Warfare Skills. Frost Paladins focus primarily on Strength, which works well here because only one Hydrosophist Skill they use actually scales with Intelligence, and we don’t use it for its damage, but rather its effect. Much like the Juggernaut, this allows us to utilize two Skill lines without splitting our Attributes.
Frost Paladin Attributes and Equipment
Frost Paladins focus primarily on Strength which is used to increase the damage of their Warfare Skills. Frost Paladins will then focus on Wits to increase their Critical Chance and Initiative, allowing them to attack more quickly in combat. We use two damaging Hydrosophist Skills for this Build: Global Cooling and Ice Breaker, but Global Cooling is simply used to freeze the ground and Ice Breaker does not scale with Intelligence (or any Attribute), so we can use it here to great effect.
Frost Paladins will utilize Strength-based Armour, which is exactly what this Build needs, because Frost Paladins can buff their Magic Armour quite well, but will have some difficulty buffing their Physical Armour as effectively. The concept behind the Frost Paladin is that you don’t need to Stealth during combat because you have so much Armour that you can just withstand attacks while you take down enemies. For this reason having the highest Armour you can is imperative. You will also utilize Ice to prevent melee units from hitting you, giving you some relief.
I recommend that Frost Paladins use Single-Handed and Shield, but you can also use a Two-Handed Weapon if you have high enough Armour. Using a Shield will also give you access to Deflective Barrier, which not only buffs your Physical Armour, but also reflects projectiles back at enemies for 3 turns. You can also get a Shield with a Rune slot that will allow you to increase your Shield’s Physical or Magic Armour even higher. Make sure your Weapon is Strength-based and has a Rune slot that you can use to increase physical damage (if you can). I like to use a Weapon that has both physical and water damage for my Frost Paladin, but the damage type on it isn’t super important.
Frost Paladin Talents and Abilities
One of the hardest parts about making a Build in Divinity: Original Sin 2 is getting your Abilities distribution correct. It’s easy to get spread too thin, and often people make the mistake of not spreading points around enough. The bonuses you gain from Abilities in this game are somewhat different than the original, so it’s easy to see why people can get confused. Let’s take a look at what Abilities and Talents you need for a Frost Paladin.
Frost Paladins will focus on a mix of Warfare and Hydrosophist. I like to prioritize them in a 2:1 ratio, meaning for every 2 points I put into Warfare I put one into Hydrosophist. This will ensure that you deal relatively good damage, while at the same time improving your heals, buffs and the damage of Ice Breaker (when you get it). You’ll also want 2 points into Necromancer, 1 into Polymorph, and 2 into Scoundrel to unlock a few Skills that work well with this Build.
As far as Talents go I’d recommend the following:
Opportunist – As with all melee Builds, this one Talent drastically increases your damage output, so take this one first.
Executioner – This Talent is just wicked good, especially later on in the game. Take this 2nd or 3rd to increase your AP by 2 per round if you get a kill.
Living Armour – Because this Build focuses very heavily on Armour this Talent is a natural fit, especially because you have access to powerful heals.
Hothead – This Talent works well here because you should rarely be below full health, having so much Armour. Take this 3rd or 4th.
Picture of Health – This Talent is always good for a Build that focuses on Warfare, but if you find you aren’t taking any direct Vitality damage, consider taking something else.
Elemental Affinity – Worth considering for this Build because you will be standing in water or Ice quite often. However, most Hydrosophist Skills already cost 1 AP that we use, so you won’t really feel the effectiveness of it like you would in some other Builds.
Frost Paladin Skills
Now that you’ve decided which Talents and Abilities you want, you’ll need to identify just which Skills work best with this kind of setup. Frost Paladins will use a mix of Warfare Skills, Hydrosophist Skills, and miscellaneous Skills. This allows them to maintain decent physical damage while being able to buff up, heal and use Ice to control the battlefield. Since Builds evolve over the course of the game, I’m going to put the Skills in order from earliest obtainable to latest, because you won’t be able to get them all right way.
Battle Stomp – A great AoE with a Knockdown. Very effective at taking 1 or more opponents out of the fight for a turn, and should only be used when you can do just that.
Bouncing Shield – If you’re using a Shield this is a must-have skill. Does tremendous damage and can hit up to 2 targets. A huge benefit of being a Shield user.
Battering Ram – Very good for mobility (especially across Ice) and comes with a Knockdown to boot. Get this one early and use it to hit targets not in the Ice you’ve created if possible.
Blitz Attack – Another great gap closer that can be used to maneuver across Ice and other surfaces. Save this for after you have used Global Cooling if possible and try to position yourself to land a Battle Stomp or Whirlwind after.
Whirlwind – A tremendous AoE that deals full damage to each target struck. Try to make sure you hit at least 3 targets when using this or save it for a moment when you can.
Phoenix Dive – This should be your opener to get to your target. For 1 AP this will get you where you need to go and then hopefully a follow up Attack of Opportunity on that target’s turn.
Deflective Barrier – This skill isn’t quite a must-have for this Build, but it’s close. Not only does it buff your Armour, but the reflect is REALLY GOOD for 3 turns. I like to use first thing turn 1.
Guardian Angel – Probably one of the few Builds around that I’d actually recommend this skill for. If you’re playing 2 player Lone Wolf this skill can be a lifesaver.
Challenge – As of February 1st, 2018 this Skill now only costs 1 AP, making it viable for nearly every Warfare oriented Build. Buffs Physical and Magic Armour in addition to increasing your damage by 15% for 1 turn.
Restoration – A good early game heal that can remove a couple of Status Effects. Can also be used on Undead to mess them up pretty good (deals damage to their Physical Armour).
Cleanse Wounds – Another early game heal that can remove a wide variety of Status Effects and damage Undead. Probably not used outside of this Build. Very good for damaging Undead.
Cryotherapy – This skill can restore a shit ton of Magic Armour, but doesn’t add to your total. If you use after you’ve cast Armour of Frost it will replenish more Magic Armour. Requires 1 point in Huntsman.
Global Cooling – This skill doesn’t do a whole lot of damage no matter what you do in this game, and it’s primary function is to freeze surfaces, which is what we use it for. For 1 AP you can block whole areas that are wet or use the Ice to gain Armour.
Healing Ritual – A great heal that will hit multiple targets. If you’re playing Lone Wolf it becomes less valuable, but it can still be used to damage Undead. Lack of Status Effect removal hurts it a lot.
Mass Cleanse Wounds – A great AoE heal that removes a ton of Status Effects and heals for a good amount. Again not as useful in Lone Wolf, but great in a party and better when there is another melee character.
Ice Breaker – This skill doesn’t gain any benefit from Intelligence or Strength, only Hydrosophist seems to increase its (non-critical) damage. We use it here because for 1 AP it can deal quite a bit of water damage if you need to.
Adrenaline – A must have skill for just about any Build. You never know when you might just need one more attack or buff to save you from a really bad situation. Don’t leave home without it.
Cloak and Dagger – A great mobility skill for 1 AP. Since you’ll have 1 point invested into Scoundrel already, 1 more won’t hurt you too much. Scoundrel increases Critical Multiplier anyway.
Tentacle Lash – Does extremely good damage and sets Atrophy which prevents the target from attacking next turn. Get this one early and use it often. Fairly decent range as well.
Bone Cage – A great way to replenish Physical Armour, that only grows in effectiveness the more corpses on the ground. Wait until you’ve killed at least one target before using.
Bless – What would a Paladin Build be without this Skill? Not only removes Cursed surfaces, but the bonuses it provides are vastly underrated. You can also turn fire into holy fire, which heals teammates!
I strongly recommend this Build to new and first time players because it will ease the learning curve of the early areas of the game just a bit. As you learn the ropes and get more familiar with combat you will realize that you shouldn’t need much healing or you’re doing it wrong. That doesn’t mean however, this Build can’t be effective in harder difficulties or more advanced situations, you just need to learn how to use it. Healing can be used to damage Undead very effectively and Ice is very good at controlling the battle.
If you’re playing a Lone Wolf Frost Paladin a recommend taking the Enrage skill because it will drastically increase your damage with this Build. When you have 6 AP a turn it becomes much more effective than when you have 4 or I would have put it in the Skills section above. It will prevent you from using non-weapon attacks though, so be sure you don’t need to cast anything first. I suggest using it when you are already in range of your target, when you are likely to get an Attack of Opportunity during the enemy’s turn.
Combine the Boots you are wearing with Nails to prevent yourself from slipping on Ice. You should have enough maneuverability Skills to make this not required, but it doesn’t hurt anything to add them, so be sure you do. It’s also a good idea to do the same for any other melee type characters that may need to move through the Ice to attack as well.
Instead of using Bone Cage you could drop a point into Geomancer and and take the Fortify skill. The upside is that it requires one less point into Geomancer than you would need in Necromancer and you cannot be Teleported. The downside is that having points into Necromancer actually returns Magic Armour when you deal damage (with Living Armour). It’s really up to you, so try it out and see what works best.
You can also play a variant of this Build where you don’t put as many points into Hydrosophist, but instead put them into Retribution to reflect damage. This works very nicely with this Build because you get hit quite a bit, and it can be a good way to soften up your targets before you close for the kill. If you decide to go this route, I recommend splitting your points between Hydrosophist and Retribution 1:1.
As of Feb 1st, Provoke now goes through Physical Armour and will allow you to Taunt nearby enemies. Consider adding this to this Build if you wish to fulfill the “tank” role. You have tons and tons of Armour as a Frost Paladin so this would be a natural fit. If you decide to do this, I would suggest taking a couple points of Summoning to get the Soul Mate skill.
Lastly, you can actually make a Ranger version of this Build that may work as well if not better. The benefit of using a Bow, is that when you create Ice around you, you can still shoot at enemies without needing to move which is great. If you go down the Ranger route, you’ll have less Armour, so you’ll have to take care to make sure you have the best you can find/purchase.
Be sure to check out our other Build Guides! Good luck Sourcerers, Rivellon is counting on you!